Erodium moschatum

5. Erodium moschatum (L.) L’Hérit. (Medit., W-Eur., NE-Afr., Macaronesia) – A rather rare and much decreasing alien, formerly more or less naturalised locally but now always ephemeral. Known at least since 1813 (Durand 1899). Best documented from Marche-les-Dames where Erodium moschatum was naturalised by a foot of a wall of an old castle, at least between 1853 and 1887. Furthermore told to be naturalised in the second half of the 19th century in Gosselies, Grand-Rechain, Hasselt, Kain, Modave and Plancenoit (Durand 1899). Regularly recorded as a wool alien in the valley of river Vesdre in the surroundings of Verviers, at least between 1891 and 1970. Analogously, also repeatedly seen along river Maas (Dutch part) in the 1950’s and 1960’s, originating from the woollen mills upstream near Verviers. In the past decades much decreasing. Recorded for instance on a dump in Andrimont in 1954 (possibly from grain waste). Erodium moschatum is still regularly claimed as an alien but these records require confirmation. Most turn out to be in error for (forms of) native Erodium cicutarium. Both are easily distinguished when mericarps are available: these have pits with numerous sessile glands in Erodium moschatum.

Erodium moschatum is fairly variable, especially in leaf shape. A form with deeply lobed leaflets has been recorded in 1970 as a wool alien. Such plants are usually ascribed to var. cicutarioides Delile, while some believe they are hybrids of Erodium cicutarium and E. moschatum (see Lawalrée 1964). Its taxonomic value probably is restricted (omitted for instance in the Euro+Med PlantBase). 

Herbarium specimen


Selected literature:

Bruggeman C.J.M. (1964) Overzicht der in Nederland gevonden inheemse en adventieve Erodium-soorten. Gorteria 2(5): 49-55.

Durand T. (1899) Phanérogames. In: De Wildeman E. & Durand T., Prodrome de la flore belge. A. Castaigne Editeur, Bruxelles: 1112 p.

Lawalrée A (1964) Geraniaceae. In: Robyns W. (ed.), Flore Générale de Belgique, vol. 4, fasc. 3. Jardin Botanique de l’Etat, Bruxelles: 239-286.

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith